Turning Too Fast: The 2013 Santiago de Compostela Derailment


The location of Santiago de Compostela in Europe.
he site of the accident seen from above. The train came out of the tunnel on the right.

The train involved

A generator car at the depot, showing its own bogie (left) and how it’s mounted on the leading passenger car (right).
A double-traction of series 730 trains identical to the one involved photographed in 2012. Note the short generator car.

The accident

CCTV-footage showing the train derail and take out the camera.
Stills from the video above showing the generator car derail, dragging the rest of the train along.


Firefighters extinguish the burning rear generator car as their colleagues start climbing into the wreckage.
One of each train’s cars being lifted out of the wreckage in 1998 (left) and in 2013 (right).
Responders tending to survivors next to a train car that had been thrown up onto the neighboring road. Note the roof-mounted suspension mentioned earlier.
Mister Amo’s photo on facebook, and his photo of a train’s speedometer at the scheduled top speed.
A crane removing the remains of a train car that was torn to pieces in the derailment.
The leading motor car at the beginning of the wreckage. Note that the forward generator car is still attached to the first passenger car by the shared axle as it rests on its side.
The rear part of the wreckage during recovery, the field of debris was several hundred meters long.
The leading generator car being removed from the site, its bogie remained attached to the motor car.
A section of the (translated) discussion in a German message board pointing out the “makeshift-ish” construction of the generator car. You can find a translation of the full discussion linked at the end of this write-up.
The bridge over the tracks at the site of the accident, photographed in June 2019.



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